Save the date ...our Social Media Coordinator, Elise Crawford, is marrying Hunter, her college sweetheart, on August 12, 2017. We're overjoyed for her and are thrilled to share with you a peek into one bride's real-life wedding planning. Over the next year, we'll feature monthly pieces from Elise on marriage prep, choosing wedding details, and her spirituality as a bride-to-be. Join us in praying for Elise and Hunter during this sacred time of anticipation!
Photography by Meaghan Clare Photography
I'm writing this at 11:30pm after a full day of work in D.C. with clients, calls with my team and giving a talk this evening to a group of women business owners. I'm tired. Physically, yes but also emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Wedding planning can be fun and full of exciting adventures, but what happens when it's....not? I think every woman who has gotten married can identify a moment in their planning process when she's thought to herself, "I'm so ready for this to be all over with and just be married already!"
There's no doubt when preparing to enter into the sacrament of marriage that you will experience some sort of spiritual battle; the Enemy trying to keep you from becoming the woman God has made you to be. I've been engaged for almost four years: that's a long time to be engaged in a singular battle! There are so many ups and downs when it comes to wedding planning and as your wedding day draws even closer, those waves of overwhelm can seem to come in faster and even more ferociously.
No matter how long you've been engaged, I'm sure you can relate to the feeling of fatigue and burnout during the last few weeks leading up to your wedding. Below I'm sharing my five tips for thriving during your final days of engagement. Enjoy and feel free to leave your own tips in the comments!
Stay close to the Eucharist.
As I mentioned before, I've definitely noticed an increase in spiritual battle or struggle as my wedding day draws near. They can be identified as small or feelings of discouragement and overwhelm or an increased tendency to lose your temper. The Enemy plays on your weaknesses, particularly as you are about to enter into the sacred bonds of marriage. Spend some extra time alone with Christ during the last few weeks of your engagement in order to remain focused. Although you are about to give yourself completely and freely over to another in marriage, Jesus will always be your first Love. Let him nourish you, love you and sanctify you as draw closer to Him. Amp up your prayer life. Although it might seem impossible to fit in anything else in your schedule, it's important to prioritize daily Mass, confession and quiet prayer even more intensely as your big day draws near.
Write everything down.
This might seem like an obvious task, but I didn't even think about mapping out the next couple of months leading up to my wedding until I was complaining to a friend about how I didn't even know where to start when it came to everything that still needs to get done. Of course I had thought about having a day-of timeline for my wedding, but now that August 12th is just weeks away, it's been incredibly helpful to take time to write out every little thing that needs to get done before our wedding day, then share it with my bridesmaids, mom and whomever else is helping us prepare. That way, I don't feel like all of the weight of wedding planning is on just my shoulders, and I can breathe knowing there are others who know what needs to be accomplished.
Spend more intentional time together as a couple.
Protect your relationship as a couple. This might sound defensive, but unless you intentionally schedule time with your beloved during these busy weeks, it's not going to happen. It's important to cling to one another during this time. You are both about to experience a life-changing moment together. Engagement is a time of new challenges and maybe unexpected difficulties. Whatever stresses, worries and fears that you are experiencing, these are opportunities for you to grow stronger as a couple. But you can't do that unless you spend time together! Set apart time each week where you do not plan or talk about your upcoming nuptials (or at least keep the wedding chatter to a minimum) and just enjoy each other's company. Take time to still get to know your fiancé and fall even more in love together. Cherish this special time.
Take time for self-care.
As Nicole Caruso mentioned in our Bridal Makeup Tutorial, it's incredibly important as a bride to take time for self-care. It might be the last thing on your mind, but when you don't take time to prepare yourself, mentally, emotionally and physically, for your new life as a wife, you can fall into the trap of losing perspective. Make sure to schedule time for not only prayer, but doing things that you love. That can be working out, taking a yoga class, reading a book from your favorite genre, attending counseling, taking a bath with your favorite bath salts or getting a massage. I'd highly recommend journaling during this time as well. Journaling helps me assess where I am emotionally and spiritually. Whatever self-care means to you, take time to do something just for yourself and relax.
Let it go.
In the words of Elsa, let it go. During your final weeks of engagement, remain focused on why you're getting married in the first place. You are being called into a sacred union with your beloved and Jesus Christ. Along with your to-do list, create a list of things that you are okay with not getting done before your wedding day. These might be last-minute DIY projects or fun ideas that just aren't getting executed. It's okay if not everything comes together as you had imagined. Your wedding day is just one day and at the end of it, you'll be married, which is all that matters!
Let go of any pressure that others, or you, are putting on yourself and go with the flow. If the florist doesn't get your order quite right or the ring bearers' suits aren't the perfect color, it's still going to be a beautiful day. Enjoy these last days of being a bride and soak up every moment. It only happens once!